One of the most impressive features of the God of Israel is His invisibility in regards to His image. It is unknown how He is, if He’s tall or short, the color of His skin or eyes, the strength of His arms, His posture, His face, in short… no one ever saw Him, except when He became flesh through His Son, the Lord Jesus, who came at a time when there were no cameras. Only those who lived at the time were privileged to have seen Him with their own eyes.

Other people always questioned Israel about this topic and you can see this clearly in the soap opera, “The Ten Commandments”, which turned into a movie that everyone will be watching on the 28th in theaters (here in Brazil), right ladies? :)

Nobody understood, and even today many people question within themselves. How can you believe in a God that you can’t see? How can serve a God you can’t touch?

When we look at God’s creation, we see how infinite the Universe is, the beauty of the stars, galaxies and planets that we will never understand completely. And we don’t need to go so far to see the immensity of the sea, the variety of fish, the control and balance of each plant and marine species in nature. Animals living a simple life and at the same time exotic, with the perfect habits for their procreation and order in nature. We see all four seasons faithfully year after year, that brings us different moments every year. Our human body that works like a machine, so perfect in everything!

But it’s not only in how nature works that we see our God. We see Him in the people who serve Him, by the way, this is one of the main visibilities He has!

When you look into my eyes, what do you see? Peace or concern?

When you hear me speak, what do you hear? Words that empower you or words that diminish you?

When you see what I wear, what do you see? Discretion and respect or sensuality?

When you see the daughter that I am towards my parents, what do you see? Consideration or ungratefulness?

When you see the sister that I am towards my siblings, what do you see? Friendship or hatred?

When you see the wife that I am towards my husband, what do you see? A helper or competition?

When you see the mother that I am to my son, what do you see? Love or irritation?

When you see the kind of friend that I am to my friends, what do you see? Care or selfishness?

When you see the speaker I am, what do you see? Confidence or shyness?

When you read my blogs or my books, what do you see? Faith or doubt?

When you watch or listen to me on TV or the radio programs I do with my husband, what do you see? Sincerity or hypocrisy?

When you follow me on my social networks, what do you see? Strength or weakness?

If I am of God, you see God in me, not only in some things — but in everything. In all that I am, speak, wear, and follow.

Now in other “gods”, visibility is the image that is made for them and the lives of their followers…

I am not here to criticize anyone’s religion, after all, I don’t consider myself a religious person because of this, religion separates people. I just want you to think for yourself and reach your conclusion.

The air we breath is one of the most obvious things that we have at our disposal and it is invisible. Let’s not fall in the mistake of wanting to touch and see what is not to be seen.

In faith.

  • You isolate yourself from others.
  • You’re afraid of getting hurt so you close up all the windows of your heart.
  • You’re jealous of your friends or partner. You think they love you less than others.
  • You’re envious. You wish to have what others have.
  • You badmouth people because that makes you feel better about yourself.
  • You speak too much, usually because you want to be heard, you need attention, and you’re afraid you’ll lack it if you’re quiet.
  • You ignore people just so that they can come after you.
  • You need people to check up on you.
  • You take too long to do anything because you’re too afraid to get it wrong.
  • You need people to love you and when someone doesn’t, you work extra hard to make that person love you.
  • You don’t trust people. You always think there’s something wrong with them.
  • You can’t compliment anyone, especially other women. Usually because you don’t want them to feel what you can’t feel about yourself.
  • You keep grudges.
  • You’re too linked to your past and so you’re vulnerable right now.
  • You’re disorganized with your time.
  • You lose focus easily and often get distracted with things that don’t matter.
  • You don’t finish what you start.
  • You don’t do what you say you will. You don’t keep your promises.
  • You’re unfaithful.
  • You lie.
  • You pretend to be someone you’re not, especially with some people.
  • You’re too self-conscious.
  • You’re shy.
  • You’re afraid of doing the simplest things in life, like driving on a highway or going somewhere new by yourself.
  • You depend on people all the time.
  • You’re not confident on learning anything new.
  • You don’t like how you look.
  • You compare yourself with others.
  • You put yourself down in every way possible, especially with what you say about yourself.
  • You dress in a way to put yourself down. You can’t wear a skirt or a dress, you think you don’t look good being feminine.
  • You despise beautiful women.
  • You hate men.
  • You always expect the worst out of people.
  • You misunderstand everything people say or do.
  • You don’t take risks.
  • You don’t take initiatives.
  • You’re full of doubts.
And the list goes on…

Few people get married thinking about betraying their partner, of course, there are those with bad character, that usually already betray even before marriage. For most part, couples are committed to faithfulness, at least early on in the relationship. Until they reach the difficult stages, when the honeymoon is over and the new things are no longer news, and when the attention and affection are no longer exclusive and become things of the past.

There’s a lot of work, bills to be payed, she no longer has time for him because she has to study, work, take care of the house, which leads to frustration because he usually doesn’t help her with those things. Then come the children, who take up the little bit of time the couple has at the end of the day. She no longer takes care of herself for him, he doesn’t listen to her, the bills get piling up, relatives are intruding, the video game becomes an escape for him and for her, an enemy at home.

That’s it, the stage for a future betrayal is set. Now we just need a third person.

Pay attention to the following pitfalls that many who have betrayed their spouses fell into without realizing it, until it was too late:

  • Looks that intrigue you but don’t constrain. This is one of the first signs of someone who is interested in you. This person looks at you  frequently, they seem to admire you from afar, look at all your steps, they pay attention to you out of all the other people around you. That may be constraining at first, but then it begins to intrigue you. You are calling the attention of the opposite sex, something that does not happen any more in your marriage, so you at least feel flattered.
  • Compliments about your appearance and performance. After staring, comes the “open-path-praises”. The person is able to see what your partner doesn’t see or perhaps doesn’t even notice anymore. Your new haircut, contagious smile, the new blouse, the way you talk, how good you are at what you do, etc. And it makes you feel special, admired and loved again… it’s been a while that you don’t feel this way, by the way, at home you feel completely the opposite…
  • Small conversations to be around you. Then, you start talking much more than before, it was only at work or on the street, now it’s after work, at the end of the day, on weekends and because it always makes you feel good, you do not see “anything wrong with that,” but, at the same time, you keep those conversations a secret, after all, you don’t want anyone to get the “wrong” idea about you two. But… deep down, you can’t stop thinking about this person, the next time you’re going to see each other, it’s as if you had married that person instead of your partner, who is “clueless” at your side.
  • Many things in common. The more you think about the possibility of you two being born for each other, the more the idea makes sense. You have so much in common that it is hard not to think that this person would be “right” for you more than your spouse. And you begin to question, “is it not with him that I’ll be happy?”.
  • Treated differently from everyone else. Whenever you see each other, the way he treats you, the kindness and friendliness of him simply enchants you. He is kind, thoughtful, always sympathetic with you, a true gentleman and he is not like that with everyone, just with you, which makes you feel the most beautiful woman in the world. And that’s when you start comparing him with your harsh husband and your frustration only increases between you. Of course, you begin to despise your spouse, get tired of him, and don’t bother getting his attention.
  • Likes everything you post and from time to time, not to make it so obvious, leaves a comment. Now you post everything thinking of him and he, as a good follower, likes everything that you post. He is discreet, but sometimes shows what he feels for you and his words leave you thinking for days and weeks. You want to decrypt everything he said, how he said it and why he said it… and when you come to the conclusion that it is a fact, he’s in love with you, you’ve already been passionate about him long ago.
  • Talks about you to your friends so that they can tell you. And to prove everything you feel, your friends start telling you the same, how he only speaks about you, how he looks differently at you, how he made a comment about you. Deep down, he did it because he wanted it to come to your ears, but you do not care for the obvious. It’s him, he’s the man you sought for all this time. How would it be to kiss him? How would it be to spend a night by his side?

Voila, you’ve cheated on your spouse and don’t know it. The day that you sleep together or at least kiss is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friend, know that this is all an illusion and if you do not stop it in time, you will regret what you did for the rest of your life. While you look at the man who is not your husband, you stop taking care of him, you stop looking at him, seeing his qualities and making him happy — how do you want to receive from him what you don’t give?

You know about this, you’ve probably been through it. I have. What the person says does not match what they do for you… it makes you want to scream and say, you don’t love me!

The truth is that love is not as common as it seems.

Oh, love… they sing and talk about it, but who understands it? At an hour the person says they love someone, an hour later they don’t believe in love. A comedian commented once that he can’t see love, and therefore he can’t have it…

After all, what is love?

Wikipedia defines love the way most people define it:

Love (from the Latin word amore) is an emotion or feeling that causes a person to want to do good to someone else or something.

It’s because of this definition and the way people think that many are turning away from love, because it’s not a feeling.

Let’s take look at the example of the love of a mother and child. The child may not have turned out what she wanted. The child may have made wrong choices in life and brought shame to the family. The child may be mad with the mother. However, the mother still loves her child and does everything to see him happy, even if the child doesn’t do anything to make her happy.

Love is not bargaining. You don’t love to get something in return. You love because you love and that’s it. If the person doesn’t love you back, that’s their problem. Parents know about this, and those who don’t it’s because they don’t really love.

You don’t need to feel an emotion to love someone, you simply have to decide to love them. Based on this decision, you do what it takes to love this person. You notice their qualities and don’t look at their defects. You start to please, help, spare, understand and value them. Your pleasure is to see this person happy, therefore, you root for them. You do what is right for them, even if they don’t do the same for you.

Now you understand why the Lord Jesus said:

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:44

God is love and that’s what He does 24 hours a day. He loves. And for us to be His children, we must do the same. Love not only those in our own home but those outside, our enemies and even those who don’t even know we exist.

Those who love don’t take pleasure in seeing someone suffering. Many people hope to see someone get a divorce, gain weight, get old, loose everything, or for everything to go wrong… these people don’t know what love is, that’s why they are like so. When you see someone leaving a nasty comment on a social network, understand that this is the main problem with them… they don’t know love, and it is up to those who know how to give love to give through understanding, forgiveness and prayer.

The wife who really loves her husband does everything to make him happy and vice versa. It’s amazing how today a simple attitude like doing the dishes for the spouse is already a lot… couples don’t pamper each other, they want to be served, they want to receive and not give… this is a sign that the don’t know love, they don’t know how to love.

Those who love, love without expecting anything in return. The rest is a fake feeling of a “love” that is dumb and crazy, that soon enough will end.

Learn to love intelligently by participating in the Love Therapy on Thursdays at the Succeed in Life Center.

When we think of a bridge, we quickly imagine a key link between two points. Some bridges are large and beautiful, others small and strange looking. There are modern, moveable, and fully lit bridges that have become the postcard of a place; others however, are old and quite unsightly. Although there are many differences between bridges, there is one thing they all have in common: they provide the ability to come and go.

 

A priority when designing a bridge is to have equal access on both sides. I’m using a bridge to make an analogy of how relationships in life should be, meaning that when they are healthy, they become a two-way street: we receive and give, give and receive, always.

However, since there are exceptions to everything in life, the bridge of a selfish person is a one-way street. They are individualistic and only really care about themselves, not to mention how they never like to be contradicted.

Do you want to see if a person is selfish?

Pay attention to their words. They will externalize their selfishness in the way they are always talking about themselves: their ideas are more creative, their work is better, their trip was more fun, their knowledge is superior, their boyfriend is more interesting etc. But when bad things happen, everything is a little more pronounced: the disease they caught is worse and hurts more than in everybody else, their financial distress is more suffocating, their fatigue is more strenuous, the teacher where they study is more uncompromising, their child is more problematic, their ex-husband is more despicable etc.

People like this have such an inflated ego, that it clouds their vision and prevents them from looking around and seeing that other people have needs too, that they also suffer, get tired, have their limits and sorrows.

The selfish person is an adult, but he acts and reacts like a spoiled child. Since he thinks the world revolves around him, why should he give up his wishes?

And to carry out his desires, he is capable of anything, even causing other people harm.

But what for some is a simple feeling or flaw, to God it has another name: sin. Selfishness is characterized by an excessive love of self, to the point of despising and alienating others. It has been the cause of much grief and sorrow; of people getting hurt and spiritually abused; of the dissolution of homes and friendships.

We should remember a valuable teaching given by the Lord Jesus, when He said that if anyone desires to go after Him, that person should “deny himself” (Mt 16:24). Those who are truly of God learn the essence of selflessness and surrender. They are able to let go of their desires, comfort and personal benefits in order to see others happy.

As a reward, they always have good people in their lives; they have loyal friends and obtain affection and sincere respect from others.

The opposite happens with the selfish. He is always alone because everyone finds excuses not to be with him. The only ones around him are there with second intentions or out of obligation.

Have you ever had an experience with a selfish person?

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